Today we’ll be studying the last book of Philippians, big thank you to everyone who’s taught on the last chapters, trust that we’ve learnt so much from them
Moving on to Philippians 4 today.
“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
One of the most important skills of bible study is reading each verse based on context, in relation to the surrounding verses. Vs 1 starts with “therefore” which implies that Paul is continuing from a previous thought and this isn’t a stand-alone statement. So let’s take a look at the preceding verse Paul is referring. Let’s try to answer the question “why stand fast in the Lord”
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
In the previous verse, Paul assures the Philippians that our citizenship is in heaven and Christ will transform our weak, lowly body into his glorious body and because of this, we can and should stand firm in the Lord as seen in 4:1. So we can rejoice and stand firm in God knowing he is our hope and he’s coming back for us.
Glory! Is anybody excited about this?
So moving on to the next verses…
“I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”
A danger of not reading verses in context is that it leads to misinterpretation. Some of Paul’s writings have been taken out of context to be misogynistic. But we can see in verses like this that that definitely isn’t true. Paul valued the women that helped his ministry and we can see the names of some very important women that labored in the gospel alongside Paul so if anyone tells you the teachings of Christianity are against women, ask them to read their bible better and point them to verses like this that says otherwise.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
The gospel is great news!
Salvation is great news!
God’s immense love for you is great news!
Christ dying for you is great news!
The Holy Spirit living in you is great news!
Jesus coming back for you is great news!
There is so much to rejoice for in the Lord so regardless of what the world around you says, rejoice! So what happens when bad things happen and maybe you don’t feel like rejoicing? The next verses tell us what to do.
“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- One of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is gentleness so we should exhibit that in our everyday lives to all those around us.
- Be anxious for nothing. No matter how scary the storm seems, Jesus is in your boat. No matter how dark the world is, you are the light of the world. No matter how hot the fire is, there is a fourth man in the fire with you. No matter how bleak the situation is, Christ in you is the hope of glory. No matter how alone you feel, the Holy Spirit lives in you. So my dear brothers and sisters, be anxious for nothing. Instead, take everything to God in prayer.
What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and grief to bear
What a privilege to carry
EVERYTHING to God in prayer
Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
After praying, don’t be tempted to worry or be anxious, think about what Paul says, whatever is good, pure, lovely, good report. What is a single source of all these things to think on?
Hint: Tt starts with a B and ends with LE. The Bible has everything we need to think on. Renew your mind with God’s word.
Drive away every anxious thought with God’s promises and reassurance
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.”
In the next few verses, Paul commends the generosity of the Philippians.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Everyone loves to quote vs 19 but don’t ignore the preceding verses. The topic of giving has always been a touchy one in and out of the touch but it really shouldn’t. Put your money where your faith is.
You claim to love God, the perfect giver of good things but you don’t give. You claim to love the gospel and want all to hear it but you don’t give towards it. You claim to love your church but you don’t give. It doesn’t work that way.
Let your finances be a reflection of your priority
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Another verse we love to quote but it is important to understand the context surrounding it. So sister Amaka, if someone asks you how you plan to write that hard exam tomorrow when you didn’t study, don’t go and be telling them you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. If you don’t study and are unserious and nonchalant with your studies, you will definitely fail.
Paul is talking about his ability to be content in whatever situation because Christ strengthens him. So yes, I know we like to quote these verses and I know truly, we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us but it is also important to understand the context of the verse.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
I don’t know if you know but my God is rich.
Rich and more than able to supply all our needs. If we really understand that and let the truth sink into our souls then, we would rejoice always, we wouldn’t be anxious, and we would take everything to God in prayer. We would have plenty of good things to fix our minds on. We wouldn’t hesitate to give for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.
“Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
Our faith in Christ has blessed us with a community of believers so let’s do well to take advantage of that and build worthwhile relationships. And May the grace of Jesus be with us all. Amen
That brings us to the end of our study on Philippians.
- Make a list of 10 scriptures that reflect God’s promises to you.
- Do you belong to a community of believers? If you do not, prayerfully search for one and commit yourself to being active in it.